A bit of a different look at Friday’s rivalry game between Minnesota and North Dakota.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At the University of Minnesota’s media day Wednesday, Gopher captain Taylor Matson predicted a “bloodbath.”
And while the blood wasn’t necessarily flowing, the Gophers and North Dakota combined for 69 minutes in penalties Friday (29 penalties in all) in a 2-0 Minnesota victory at Mariucci Arena, with much of the action coming in a rough second period.
Seth Ambroz got the festivities started with a five minute major for contact to the head just 30 seconds into the middle frame, although he also checked UND captain Mario Lamoureaux from behind. Minnesota killed the five minute UND power play however, and according to numerous players and coaches after the game, that was the turning point.
Tied 0-0 at the time, the major penalty seemed to stir the emotions a bit, and at 11:47, feelings boiled over as a melee ensued, sending 3 players from each team to the box. North Dakota got the extra 2 minutes though, setting up a Gopher power play. Minnesota took advantage as Nick Bjugstad scored what amounted to the game winner with the extra attacker on.
The Gophers got a separation goal with 8 minutes and change remaining in regulation when Nick Larson’s pass sent Tom Serratore in on Aaron Dell for a breakaway. The sophomore buried his second goal of the season to make it 2-0.
For the night, Minnesota outshot North Dakota 32-24. It was a historic night for Gopher goalie Kent Patterson, as the senior secured his fifth shutout of the season — tying a school record set by Robb Stauber in 1987-88. Just nine games into the year, Patterson may have a couple chances to break that record this season.
Stauber, by the way, won the Hobey Baker Award that season.
AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM
On Patterson tying the shutout record
• “Our team has been doing a great job of letting me see pucks,” Patterson said. “I’m going to have to make a few big saves every once in a while, but guys are back checking through the middle and picking up guys so they aren’t getting those opportunities.”
• “I enjoy each and every day. When I do get a shutout, great, but you have to take the good with the bad.” Patterson said. “I just have to make sure I come to the rink everyday preparing for each game individually, and take my game day by day.”
• “He’s something special, he gives us a chance to win each and every night,” Matson said. “He does all the little things right and everything is going well for him right now.”
On getting the separation goal
• “That was great to see, especially off the face off,” Patterson said. “Tom works hard. He had a huge blocked shot at the beginning of the game. He deserved that goal, he worked his butt off.”
• “We’ve been doing a great job of scoring first this season, but that second goal was huge for us,” Matson said. “Especially off the face off, we’ve been stressing intensity off the face off this season, so it was big to get that goal from our fourth line.”
• “We didn’t have a lot of breakdowns, but that was one of them,” said UND head coach Dave Hakstol. “They took advantage of it.”
On the intensity and atmosphere
• “It was the type of game we expected. It was hard hitting, it was physical, it was blocked shots, it was goaltending. The game was settling in and you knew it was going to be a low scoring game,” said Gophers head coach Don Lucia. “
• “These games are pretty special to us, there was a lot more hitting, a lot more intensity. The atmosphere was something special to be apart of here tonight,” Matson said.
On killing the UND 5×3 power play in the second period
• “I think the pivotal moment for us was that 5-on-3,” Lucia said. “It was a 0-0 game and we were able to get a little bit of momentum from our [penalty] kill.”
• “It was a huge momentum boost, especially when the crowd gets into it like that,” Patterson said. “It gets our bench going and gave our guys a momentum boost.”
IN OTHER ACTION FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE
Michigan Tech 1, Minnesota State 0
St. Cloud State 7, Wisconsin 2
Nebraska-Omaha 7, Colorado College 5
Denver 3, Minnesota Duluth 3 (OT)
Bemidji State 3, Lake Superior State 2 (OT)